The Top 10 Misnomers of The Entrepreneur

October 3rd, 2012

Every person wants to be one.  Every school, business group, and investor wants to find and develop them. Big business wants to find them to buy their products.  Entrepreneurs are today’s royalty.  But that is not why we do what we do.  I thought you might like to see my Top 10 Misnomers of The Entrepreneur:

1.  “Entrepreneurs love big risk.” Actually, entrepreneurs hate risk – I swear it is true! The world thinks we live for “the big gamble”, and that we like to take chances.  But we do not.  In fact, most of us will mitigate a risk the second we get the opportunity.

2.  “Entrepreneurs are all visionaries.” We are not all visionaries. In fact, we simply work harder at gathering information about a market or customer segment.  We have better information!

3.  “Entrepreneurs hate authority.” This is a common misconception about entrepreneurs.  Trust me, we don’t hate authority or direct supervision or even the concept of outside input. The reality is that we do want teams and opinions. We thrive on the input and insights that a team can provide.

4.  “Entrepreneurs can’t secure a job!” We can get a job – really, we can! I have heard it said that most entrepreneurs are not-for-hire and are incorrigible. I am not sure this is entirely true. Entrepreneurs see and work differently, because the work of an entrepreneur is different than most jobs. Entrepreneurs try to do it all, because they have too. As business evolves so does the entrepreneurial job. What we all want is to feel important, to be heard, to be apart of the process of improvement. To feel valued.

5.  “Entrepreneurs dislike structure and routine.” No, we like structure. We do. Sure, we may evolve away from the rigors of corporate America.  We feel “free” from the weight for a little while.  Yet, as our business ideas grow and achieve some size and scale we again become comfortable with the ideas of structure and routine.  We may say we hate it; but really we just need to evolve through the steps of organically achieving each step and level of business success.

6.  “Entrepreneurs love to work 100 hour weeks.” We do not like to work 100 hour weeks. Really we don’t.  Okay, some of us do.  However, more of us prefer to see our business operate without our involvement each and every step of the way.

7.  “The advantages and disadvantages of competitors don’t apply to entrepreneurs.”  Believe me when I say, we do have the same advantages and disadvantages of our competitors – big and small. Smaller businesses have speed and limited rules while big companies have money infrastructure, resources, and big budgets. All are advantages, all are barriers.  It is up the leadership to maximize the possibilities with whatever your resources might be.

8.  “Entrepreneurial businesses have too many limitations.”  Popular opinion suggests that small business has limits.  Not true! Small business has advantages. We are smaller, faster, have less limitations, less history, and baggage to get in the way.  New and big ideas come when there are not the barriers of what previously existed!

9.  “Entrepreneurs value vision over execution.” Some of us have learned that vision is not the same as an idea well executed.  Not all of us are dreamers.  We evolve through our experiences too.  Execution is where it is at!  Yes, you need vision, the troops want to know where we are headed.  But getting things done well make all of the real differences.

10.  “Entrepreneurs are always content.”  Don’t worry, entrepreneurs can be unhappy too. Life is not perfect for anyone. Our lives seem easy, our cars new, our houses nice to visit.  But, we have sacrificed to get where we are.  And those sacrifices will not be evident at first glance.  But we are unhappy when we compare our goals to something perfect!  Perfection comes when we learn to celebrate what we do achieve!

So those are the common misconceptions I typically encounter as an entrepreneur. Do you agree? Disagree?  Send me yours and we can post them all!

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